Lisbon’s Belem District ripe for discovery

You can't really say you've seen Lisbon without seeing the Belem District

Lisbon’s Belem District ripe for discoveryIf you aren't already convinced that Portugal is a travel bargain worth a visit, you will be. Let me tell you about the Belem District of Lisbon. There is a day or two worth of sightseeing here, and you can't really say you've seen Lisbon without seeing Belem. If much of Portugal is explained by…

Lisbon, Portugal a travel bargain

Portugal is not always on major tourist routes, but there is plenty to see there, especially in Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal a travel bargainLisbon is an overlooked European capital. Tourists tend to flock to Paris, Rome, London, but that little country on the edge of Europe? Portugal is not always on major tourist routes, but there is plenty to see there. If you’re looking for a trip to Europe, but you’re hoping to stick to a tight travel…

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coast

Imagine golden sand, 25C with a blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks stretching for kilometres and fabulous food

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coastImagine golden sand, 25C with a clear blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks that stretch for kilometres across salt marshes and sand dunes. Every so often, include colonies of beach lounge chairs, arrayed under stretched blue canvas canopies. Add swirls of swallows and gulls above, and cue…

Sintra, Portugal, is simply magical

Sintra is one of those places where there is so much packed in that you'll say to yourself: "Wow! How come I never knew about this before?"

Sintra, Portugal, is simply magicalSintra, Portugal, is one of those places where there is so much packed in, so many fairy tale castles and brooding fortresses that you'll say to yourself: "Wow! How come I never knew about this before?" From Lisbon, a trip to  Sintra is a simple day trip, although you could easily spend a couple of…

Fado’s heartfelt strains infuse Portuguese life

The wistful working people’s music traces its roots to class struggles, but is now widely embraced – and is a soundtrack for everything, including haircuts

Fado is the essential working people’s music of Portugal. It’s rooted in the class struggles and awareness of the early 1800s, and first celebrated the lives of sailors, agricultural workers, tavern dwellers and ladies of the night. It evolved at the same time as the classic Portuguese guitar, a 12-string instrument crafted by a few…

Obnoxious waiter didn’t spoil our Lisbon lunch

An over-eager cafe waiter in Lisbon trying to up sell us on what we should have for lunch didn't stop us from enjoying a satisfying meal

Obnoxious waiter didn’t spoil our Lisbon lunch“Would you like a better table?” We have just sat down at a curbside café table under a sun awning, on a busy avenue full of tourists. They’re mostly European Union folk, celebrating this mid-May day during the Queima das Fitas, the weeklong celebration of the end of the university year. “No – this is…

Alfama a colourful piece of Lisbon’s history

If any district in Lisbon screams ancient history, it is its funky Alfama district

Alfama a colourful piece of Lisbon’s historyIf any district in Lisbon screams ancient history it is its funky Alfama district. Its medieval streets and alleys twist and wind their way around the hill that it sits on. The tangle of streets has a romantic shabbiness which reflects its history: first settled by the Visigoths, you can still see some remains of…

Exploring Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon history goes back 20 centuries

Exploring Lisbon, PortugalWith its strategic location on the coast of Portugal, and its rich historical background, Lisbon offers diverse attractions that any tourist will find exciting and interesting. The warm waters of its beaches are a must during summer while it impressive towers, palaces and museums beckon tourists to explore all year round. Lisbon's small quarters, locally…